Jeff Peterson of Corona arrived at his home of 17 years about two hours after the fire began.
Evacuations were ordered on Dominguez Ranch Road, San Almada Road, San Ponte Road, San Viscaya Circle, San Sebastian Circle, San Ramon Drive, and a few more areas, according to the Corona Fire Department.
A fire in Southern California, which spread to more than 1,700 acres, prompted mandatory evacuations Monday night as at least one structure was damaged or destroyed, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The quick-moving blaze originated about 1 p.m. Monday near the eastbound 91 Freeway at Coal Canyon Road.
Evacuations were in place for about 300 homes in the Dominguez Ranch area, with residents invited to take shelter at Corona High School.
"There was fire on every hillside", Concialdi said Tuesday morning.
Corona fire officials called for evacuations of about 1,000 residents of some 300 homes.
Nine helicopters and nine fixed-wing aircraft along with 350 firefighters are now battling the flames.
Overnight, five helicopters with night-vision and three planes tried combating the wildfire from above.
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The big air tanker and some helicopters were grounded as night fell, the captain said.
It is burning in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains.
Captain Steve Concialdi with the Orange County Fire Authority says crews have been working through the night to protect homes, but he told KPCC media partner NBC 4 that weather conditions could make their work more hard.
Additionally, crews were setting backfires, hoping to keep the fire from crossing the freeway.
Four schools have been closed due to the threat from the flames, with Corona City authorities urging people to leave their homes south of Green River Road to the Trudy Way area.
Authorities are saying 20 to 25 mile-per-hour winds are fanning the flames.
Several lanes on the eastbound Riverside Freeway at Coal Canyon Road were initially closed to make room for firefighting equipment, backing up traffic for miles, the California Highway Patrol reported.